Friday, August 29, 2008

The Policy of Truth PART ONE

From the moment I changed the way I was going to record my deepest, darkest & most personal & private thoughts & feelings, I made sure that I oh, so enthusiastically dove in feet first with no regard or thought to possible or potential future issues & problems lying patiently in wait just to wreak havoc on my otherwise chaotic existence. While initially my first entries were tentative at best, I never once lied, deceived, nor even bothered to embellish in an attempt to present my life as more exciting & interesting than it really was. That would have been too easy anyway, too much like cheating. Anyway, it is far easier as well as considerably more mindless to whip up a bunch of semi exciting & titillating tales to share with faceless, nameless strangers. Combined with the fact that I am an utter crap & useless typist, I certainly did not need any additional distractions from my task at hand, so to speak. This little bit of typing here in front of you (up to this word right here) has now taken me a sum total of 33 minutes to complete. I know, I know, I am the suckiness typist ever, ever and once again ever. My current stupidly, brief attention span sure does nothing to possibly correct said situation either. Well, PFFFT...

OK, moving along now. In a bit of an attempt to keep my entries as anonymous as possible, I have endeavored from the beginning to limit any direct & specific references regarding any of my family members. I've done my darnedest to respect their right to privacy, etc, etc, etc. Why I may feel completely comfortable sharing some of my more potentially private moments with complete & utter strangers, I certainly do not presume that my friend seven blocks over from me or cousin or aunt or younger sister, will be able to do the same. And with all things being equal, blah, blah, freaking more blah...WHATEVER... While some members of my family have made brief and fairly neutral appearances from time to time, for the most part I've made a fairly concerted effort to ensure this infrequency. Now, this decision was made & maintained for no other reason than my continued desire for my own self-preservation. I knew that the moment I changed my mind that I would be opening an obscenely massive Pandora's Box.

Interaction with my family over the past decade & more specifically since my Dad's passing in March 2003 has been varied and lively to say the least. Too many of my stories would require extensive back stories & history in order to be completely understood & appreciated. Now if I was a wiz at this whole typing stuff then I wouldn't hesitate in the least, but sadly I am not. Well, as today turned out to be one for the record books & as I now have this overwhelming desire to share, it seems that now it is. No time like the present, blah, blah, blah! The only thing that I will ask of you, dear readers, is your patience as I start to share with you what has actually taken a decade to reach. I will endeavor to provide as great an amount of my family's history in each and every of my upcoming entries.

What happened today was certainly something that I had begun to doubt would ever actually occur. My Mom & I ended up having literally this five hour marathon bitching session regarding my brother's wife who we shall call Big Berta from now on, & her apparent current abusive treatment of my Mom, as well as her previous abusive treatment of me.

As I have always been a firm believer in karma, I truly had faith that one day, a day just like this day, would eventually arrive & on a day very much like today, Big Berta would finally be held accountable for all of her past transgressions against me & mine.

It has now been nearly seven years to the day that my Dad reprimanded me rather severely leaving me no chance to provide my side of recent events between myself, my brother and Big Berta. In fact, my Dad automatically accused me of being nothing more than a trouble maker & that this type of behavior needed to cease and dissent immediately or even sooner. He never, ever wanted to hear anything else at all in regards to this matter.

For seven years, I managed to keep my mouth shut. I quietly kept my own council. So, not a single word from me was ever heard again regarding what had ended up beeing her excessive & abusive treatment of me, not only in my own home, but in front of my then eleven year old daughter. I remember thinking at the time that while all of this was all occurring, that somehow it was just all so convenient, how she had even been able to take advantage of her surroundings patiently waiting until it was finally her turn.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Just Can't Get Enough

Well, it looks as if Jim and I will be going ahead and hiring a lawyer in order to represent our interests against those of our current employer. This is exactly the last thing that Jim and I really wanted to do, but it has now reached a point where it is obvious that we will need help fighting for our rights. Jim's father is going to be footing the bill as this is certainly an expense that we are unable to undertake at the moment - Mr A hasd extremely deep pockets and is prepared to go the distance so we'll be well looked after in this regard. The lawyer that we met with on Friday feels that we have an extremely solid case or complaint against them and feels strongly that well proceed.

In the past two and a half weeks, our benefits have been discontinued as well as our cable being cut off - both of these items are part of our "compensation" package so the company is not at all within their rights denying us either one of these two things. Just a few more things to become frustrated and concerned about at a time when Ireally shouldn't have to deal with these kind of stresses.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cuts Like A Knife

I got a comment on one of my entries at my worpress site where I keep a near parallel blog of this one from the sister of one of the guys that had attacked and stabbed Jim. When I first noticed who it was from, I felt really weird, hard to even describe my feelings to be honest. It was with great trepidation that I actually plunged ahead to read what she had written. She wrote the following to me:

First of all, you have to understand what it’s like for the family members of the suspects aswell, considering that Marol was my brother. I know theres no excuse for his actions nor his “friends” but still, after all he is my brother. He’s been in and out of prison but not to long before the incident, he decided that the same “friends” werent going to get him anywhere, my parents have always despised Leo and Patrick, I KNOW FOR A FACT that my brother nor his cousin (that was released not to long after questioning) had constructed any of the stabbing, but from what I know he had pitched in during the beating. But please, I beg for forgiveness and I know for a fact that Marol had’nt intended for any of this to have speculated as far as it has, please take the time to think about his younger sisters and his younger brother before calling them cold hearted killers or “animals” and such, my little sister is only 5 years old and she doesnt even understand any of this thats going on. He’s always been there for her and theres no way that you can tell me hes an “animal” hes always been caring for her. Once again, Im deeply sorry for what happend to your Husband and also sorry for what you’ve gone through. Please take the time to think about his siblings aswell.

One love, **** ******

At first I didn't know what or how I wanted to respond to what she had said. Of course, I felt for her family and her younger siblings, Who wouldn't? But ultimately, it wasn't up to me or my family, but to her own brother who should have thought about his younger brothers and sisters before he went ahead and got involved with this attack. His cousin obviously made the correct moral decision when he decided to try to help me rather than join in on the attack.So could her brother have made the same one but in that instant when he had the choice, he decided to make the wrong one, a decision now I suspect he will end up regretting for the rest of his life.

I ended up sending her what turned out to be kind of a lengthy email which I will reprint here:

Dear ****

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I am sure that this was not an easy thing to do. I am also truly sorry for you and your family as I am sure that it has not been an easy time for any of them.

You know, one of the first things that I thought about as well as talked about to my husband and children were how the mothers of these young men must be feeling right now. I know that as a mother of two teenage girls, I would be shattered if they had been involved in something like this. Jail is not a place that I would wish upon anyone but sometimes, unfortunately it is warranted.

I never called your brother an animal but I did say that the beating was savage and vicious and like nothing I had ever seen before in my life. They attacked him as if they were nothing but savage animals in the wild and at first, it looked as if they were not going to stop until he was dead. To this day, I don't actually know what ended up making them stop and run away from us.

The aftermath was awful. There was my husband's blood everywhere from the 24 stab wounds, three of which were life threatening. They tore open his neck/throat, punctured one of his lungs as well as puncturing his liver. They had to cut open his chest so that they could repair his lung and liver, and now he has a two foot scar where he was cut open. He was on life support for two days as well as being unconscious for another four. Memories of that week are pretty much nonexistent for him although for me they are all to vivd.

He is very lucky to be alive, as at one point the doctors were not certain that he would make it through that first night. Just in case, his parents had their priest give him last rites. While my daughters were not home at the time of the attack, obviously this has affected both of them tremendously. As a family we will never be the same again. Right now my husband is unable to work as he still has a lot more recovering to do and his doctors are unable to give him an answer when he may be able to return to work. The company that we work(ed) for is no longer paying him nor are we receiving benefits from them at this time. He's not even sure if he will have a job to return to as he had not been at this job for a year at the time he was attacked. Hopefully, he will start receiving Workers Compensation soon as we are now suffering financially for something that we had no control over nor even deserved. It has been frustrating on a number of levels.

For us, there are too many unanswered questions as to why this even had to occur. The only thing that we had done was to knock on the door in response to a noise complaint from another tenant. This was the third time that day that we attempted to deal with what was going on in that unit. I, myself, had been up there not twenty five minutes earlier requesting that they stop making as much noise as they were making as well as to ask them to stop throwing whatever it was that they were throwing off the balcony. For that entire day, they had been increasingly disruptive and were disturbing the peace of many of the other tenants.

We weren't even given a chance to say anything to any one of them. After knocking on the door, we were immediately rushed and attacked with absolutely no warning nor provocation. I am sorry but this is by no means normal behavior nor do I believe, remotely acceptable. If you haven't had a chance to see any of the news reports of the incident, you can check out one of them right HERE. It's a bit graphic, but it gives you an idea how much damage was done to my husband.

Of course, I feel for his younger brothers and sisters and my prayers will go out to them, but more importantly, if he had truly cared for them or was concerned at all for their wellbeing then he should have been the one thinking about them.

Good luck to both you and your family. I wish no one any ill will. I am trusting that with time, we shall all be able to put this incident behind us and hopefully become all the stronger for it.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

The High Priestess of Punk Makes Her First Appearance

It's a Tuesday night shortly after Labour Day, 1997 and my bestest friend in the whole world wants Jim and I to join him at the bar. While not remotely my scene, we drag ourselves down to listen to the likes of Kinnie Starr, Veda Hille and Oh Susanna. Ty kind of has it cool. His parents own this pretty funky building in the east end of town and in this building there are two separate and distinct drinking establishments, band rooms for bands to lease and practice out of and about two dozen rooms of varying sizes that the family rents out on a weekly basis to an odd assortment of characters. The primary bar has a seating capacity of about six hundred and is one of the few live entertainment venues that our fair city has to offer. There is a smaller, separate establishment also licensed that can seat just under 100 if squeezed in properly. We were lounging in the smaller venue this particular evening. There was actually a capacity crowd for the room and only one bartender catering to these obviously thirsty emo imbibers. Natch!

I pride myself on my generosity as a customer. While I don't over tip because that is simply vulgar, I have been known to nicely compensate the server who takes the time to remember what we drink and to ensure that we are never left staring at a glass of ice. Keep 'em coming and keep 'em coming correctly and you can be sure to make an easy $15-20 off of us by the end of your shift. Bless his heart but Justin, our very much overwhelmed bartender that evening, was way out of his element Service was beyond awful. I spent the night teasing Ty about all that lost money and how I could do a better job half asleep. Just the booze talking of course. About ten days later, Ty approaches me in all seriousness and asks me if I would basically be interested in putting my money where my mouth was. He was getting tired of the responsibility of looking after both rooms for his parents and was seriously getting itchy feet. He wanted to pursue a career in the profession that he had spent four years at university studying, a career in his chosen field, the one in which he had earned his degree in. He did not want the responsibility of having to look after the family business anymore, even if said business was cooler than most.

His only way out was showing his parents that there were other options for the two licensed establishments. If he could get rid of the smaller venue to someone else it would mean considerably less work for him and the chance to perhaps do the same for the larger room. Would I be interested in leasing the spot from his parents and in turn making it uniquely my very own? Well, at the time I certainly wasn't looking to start my own business but his offer certainly sounded intriguing in theory so after asking him numerous times if he was actually serious, I decided to take a risk and go for it. So, at the age of 33 I gave notice to the only job that I had known since graduating from university eight years prior and with basically next to no capital began my own business. No capital. No business plan to speak of. No direction at all really. I had a fully licensed establishment that could hold a maximum of 100 individuals and some acts that he had booked for the next four weeks. After that, nothing.

Jim was working in a machine shop at the time making pretty decent money. Overtime was never an issue so he could pretty much work as many hours as he wanted, so financially we were secure enough. Ty floated me the capital so that I could afford my initial inventory and I had six months in which to repay this initial investment. Rather than a set rental amount, we negotiated my rent to be 15% of my gross monthly sales. I paid all of the room's utilities as it was separately metered and any enhancements that I wanted to make to the room itself ie. better sound equipment for any of my future bands. Otherwise, I was in complete control. Because of its size, from day one I decided that none of my events would be all ages. I didn't have enough legal seating to take this chance. If you were going to frequent my little lounge then you better have proof that you could legally drink. I in return would endeavor to keep my prices as low as feasibly possible.

Ty promised to hold my hand for approx three months until I became familiar with local agents and became comfortable booking my own entertainment. As it turned out I didn't even get this from him. Pretty much after my first month I was on my own. Talk about trial by fire but I am if nothing a quick learner and very adaptable to ever changing situations, traits that ensured my continued survival in an extremely fickle market. It didn't hurt that I entered the scene at a time when local punk bands could not get a show anywhere within about a 30 mile radius of the city and were absolutely desperate for any place that would give them local exposure. I couldn't imagine any other type of music gracing my doorstep that it was literally a match made in heaven. Almost immediately I developed a hard core nucleus of rabidly loyal customers. They told two friends who quickly told two friends and so on and so on.

Within six months, my shit hole was grossing over $15 000 a month. With their 15% cut, Ty and his folks were realizing over $2500 a month considerably more than they had been able to bring in revenue when they were looking after the bar themselves and substantially more than they would ever have paid had they rented the place based on square footage. Life was sweet for everyone but it was exceptionally sweet for Jim and I.

Surprisingly enough it was during this time that we developed a serious habit, something I now look on back with near disbelief. Had it not actually happened to us I would be hard pressed to believe anyone else were they to regale me with tales about this amount of consumption and obvious disregard to the ultimate outcome that such recklessness can only produce. We were still young, beautiful and anything and everything that we touched still turned to gold. We couldn't see the end through our opiate haze. This was one party train that couldn't or wouldn't derail. Boy, were we incredibly stupid or naive. Hard to say, but when we crashed, we came thundering back to earth with such an impact that its effects are still being felt to this day.


I Wanna Be Sedated

Our generation and those that will follow us have had and will have the luxury that our parents nor grandparents were unable to experience. If at any time we are unsatisfied with our lot we can without any real effort redefine and reinvent ourselves. Don't like that office job balancing columns of numbers? Not to can start your own business or go back to school or drop-out or whatever. We don't necessarily have to choose wisely because most likely we are not going to be toiling at the same job and the same place for forty some odd years. Employment has become much more transient. What we did straight out of university will not necessarily be what we are doing by the time our twentieth year reunion rolls around.

I haven't always worked in an office supporting computer software. Less than a decade ago, I owned my own business - a 100 seat bar that was primarily a live entertainment venue for the local punk rock bands. Those literally were the days. We were absolutely depraved during this time. It was one never ending party which we were able to float with relative ease because of the success of the bar. We always had cash on hand and with that cash we bought copious amounts of dope - I actually hired my dealer to be my doorman so we never even had to travel any distance to cop! Very convenient. But, I those stories are for another day.

And I have many stories to tell of my days as a bar maid but I thought that I would wet your appetite with a review of my establishment that was published originally in my local paper.

Hit-and-miss funk of ******* Lounge worth checking out. CLUB SPY 1998-07-17

There are a few places in town I wouldn't recommend to anyone and there are a few places I'd say you simply shouldn't miss. The trouble is, I don't know in which category to place ******* Lounge.

For years, I've been a semi-regular patron of the *******. If you've never heard of it, that's OK. It's the smaller lounge directly beside the ******* on Dundas Street East and it's used to taking a back seat to the more prominent bands that play the larger room next door.

I'm not sure how to categorize the ******* because while I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of live music, it certainly isn't suited to everyone's taste. But, like sushi or bungee jumping, it's the kind of thing you should probably try at least once, if for no other reason than to say you did.

At first glance, the ******* Lounge might not seem like much to look at, but it's the kind of place that has a strange way of growing on you. The decor is 1960's mod and you can tell that when it was first built, it was the kind of place where Austen Powers might have liked to hang out. The room is long and thin with funky lighting. The bar itself is also quite long with puffy vinyl padding that's both cheesy and comfortable. Most everything in the ******* Lounge has seen a better day, but to renovate would be to lose some of its strange appeal.

For years the ******* Lounge has been a kind of proving ground for undiscovered and burgeoning talent. You'll find live entertainment there almost seven days a week. Its stock and trade is punk rock and many bands have names like Eating Disorder or Urban Goons, but the lounge also features just as many solo and acoustic performers, many of whom are from well-known bands trying out new material.

For example, Bill Eldridge, lead singer for Laughing Sam's Breakdown and formerly of Ten Seconds Over Tokyo, appears there Monday. His solo show is remarkable.


In my travels, I've seen my fair share of talentless wonders hit the stage, but at the same time I've seen just as many fresh and remarkably unique performers. And if you're lucky, you might see someone on their way up.

One evening I was introduced to an up-and-coming singer songwriter performing an acoustic show. I was duly impressed with his material and rightly so. His name was Hayden and a couple of months later, he signed a six-figure recording contract with a major record label.

That being said, I should also say that the size of the crowd has no relative bearing on the talent of the performer. Hayden's audience could not have been more than a half-dozen or so.

The same goes for my visit there last Saturday. Performing was Jennifer Mclaren, who, without a doubt, is one of the city's finest singers and most under appreciated talents. She played a knockout solo set to about a dozen people, several of whom wandered back and forth from the show at the ******* next door.

Beer at the ******* sells for $3.25, draft for $1.75 a half-pint, $3.25 for a pint and $9.50 a pitcher. Bar shots are $3.50.

I can say this much: You can't judge the ******* Lounge by one visit. The nature of the place is hit-and-miss. But, like London's weather, things change overnight and the next time you're in, you might well be amazed.

The ******* Lounge certainly isn't everybody's cup of tea and even for those who enjoy it, it isn't a place you'd go all the time. But if you're in the mood for something different, it's worth checking out. You just never know who might be there. 3*** out of 5*****

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Pain That I'm Used To

Some things stay the same, some things never see to change. As the months pass by since Jim's attack and its savagery seems to fade from some people's minds, the more difficult it seems to become for us regarding our work situation. Immediately after it happened, everyone from the office staff here in London right up through to the VP of Operations in Toronto couldn't get to us fast enough with promises for our physical, emotional and financial security. Now that three months have passed since this incident almost all of their promises seemed to have fallen by the wayside. The only thing that I am not really worried about - yet - is our physical safety. We still have a beautiful roof over our head which we do not have to pay for as well as having all of our utilities looked after. Right now that is all that we seem to have. This fact is disturbing to say the least.

All of our forms were to have been filed and completed, etc for a Workman's Compensation claim for what happened to Jim and any forms that we were responsible for have been submitted. When I last spoke to the head of Human Resources of the company about a week ago, she mentioned that the company would no longer be paying us but that WSIB would be taking over from no on. Now when I spoke to WSIB earlier today, they advised us that our claim had been rejected because our employer had not submitted a series of forms. Fit to be tied at the moment mostly because I wasn't able to actually speak to someone at WSIB but had to leave messages on two separate answering machines there. GRRRR. Of course when I called through to Toronto, I could only reach voice mail in the HR department. Oh how very, very typical.

I wouldn't be quite so insane about all of this if something awful hadn't happened here in London with my Regional Manager almost three weeks ago. Shortly after Jim's attack, we moved into our current apartment because no one in my family was feeling terribly secure living on the ground floor of the apt building. Now since Jim was still recovering from near life threatening injuries, he obviously was unable to move any of our furniture or stuff up here. Naturally, one of my daughters managed to break her arm barely a week after Jim's attack so she was also unable to offer much help or assistance. That left just me and Sara who barely wears a 100 pounds on a good day! Naturally, it was tough carrying some of the heavier stuff for us so a few items were left behind in our old unit. I advised the office of this and apparently it wasn't much of an issue until the time came when they needed our old unit.

The weekend after I was notified that they were going to need our old unit, I moved everything except for one couch out of it. This left behind couch was a monster to move so I had to leave it. When I talked to my boss she said that was no problem that she would get some of the maintenance guys to help. I waited for a number of days and no one came to help. One day Sara's boyfriend was over and we managed to get it upstairs and into the hall of the fourth floor. could not get it into our unit no matter what I tried. Finally the head of maintenance showed up to help me but no matter what he couldn't get it in either. This couch just also happened to be near brand new. We had had it only a month. Looked like we were going to have to trash it which was a darn shame. Because I had been waiting to get this couch inside before I moved a few more of our other articles in, I stashed some of our stuff in an empty unit which just happened to be located directly beside our current one. This is also standard practice if you happen to be a Building Manager of an apt building - you tend to take advantage of empty units and store stuff in them on a regular basis. This is done by near everyone and is not remotely unusual.

I had mentioned to the office about this furniture being there in the empty unit also but for some reason my Regional Manager decided to take it upon herself and have the contents of this unit emptied into the dumpster out front of our building. There was a lot of stuff of value there also. Why she didn't mention that she was going to do this so we had a chance to move it into our unit or get rid of it ourselves, is a mystery to us. Even after talking to her about it, she had nothing to say regarding her reasoning. I am so sick of everyone telling me that whenever I need help while Jim is recovering to just let them know and then when the actual time arrives, nothing at all. It is beyond insulting. What is really terrible about the whole thing is that when we went to check the dumpster not all of our stuff made it there. Any of our electronic equipment seemed to be missing. When we asked about this, we initially got a whole bunch of different answers until someone obviously started to feel a little bit guilty cause somehow some of this stuff was located - sitting in the paralegals office getting ready for her to take home!

Excuse me? How awful is this? You're stealing from someone not only that you work with, but also from someone who has already had a series of horrific stuff happen to them, someone who's interests that you in your position should be guarding. Insane. I wasn't going to get the police involved but on our last visit to the specialists we mentioned what had happened and one of the doctor's took it upon herself to call the police. I guess that she is a fairly good friend of the detective handling the attack. The police feel we have a fairly strong case for theft, etc. So far I have given a statement but I haven't had them approach anyone in the office yet regarding this although after today, I plan on giving the go ahead. I've also given everyone enough time to return all of our electronics and even though I've received assurance that we'll get them back, we still have not.
Following is a list of the items that we ended up losing - that I can remember so far cause I know that there is more but probably won't know something is missing until I go to get it.

  1. antique sewing table w/antique Singer sewing machine
  2. walnut dresser w/five dresser drawers
  3. all components to construct our bed frame i.e. slats/foot board
  4. Sklar Pepplar arm chair
  5. creme coloured leather love seat
  6. creme coloured leather arm chair
  7. 20" tv set
  8. 17" flat screen computer monitor
  9. 17" computer monitor
  10. dvd player
  11. large collection of various types of cables for use with computers
  12. digital camera w/case
  13. laptop computer w/leather case
  14. collection of electric helicopters plus their accessories
  15. all of our winter coats - four individuals for a total of eight coats
  16. six fabric laundry sacks of clothing primarily Jim's winter clothes
  17. all of Sara's bed linens including comforter, three double sized blankets, set of curtains, sheets, pillows
  18. two extra large Rubbermaid storage containers w/hinged lids w/contents removed
  19. misc hand held tools
  20. two basic desk chairs

Monday, August 04, 2008

the change

This entry was actually first written 2006-01-18 22:39:03

I can not describe the change I have felt in myself personally since I finally made the commitment to return to methadone. A proverbial weight has most definitely been lifted from my very overwhelmed shoulders. I feel as if I have somehow been released from a life sentence and suddenly I can see light at the end of the tunnel. Psychologically I am feeling empowered, liberated and even near invincible. I understand that this is not truly the case but what a change from the previous three months and the suffocating melancholy that I felt would never disappear. I still have twelve days to wait unless by some miracle there is a cancellation but at least now this is actually going to happen. Not just talking about starting or getting down there to register. Now on the 30th of January at precisely 9:30am I will willingly present myself so that I can begin the long road back to freedom - freedom from addiction, freedom from debt, freedom from esteem issues, freedom from depression/anger/frustration.

A number of events in the recent past have certainly contributed to my sudden eagerness to clean myself up the least of which is the sheer cost of sustaining not one but two fairly healthy addictions. Now to be fair the actual cost is not actually my prime motivation in attempting to clean myself up but simply one of way too many to mention right now. On that note I would like then the subject of this entry to focus on the financial end of drug addiction. I would also like to clarify that for me it is not, nor has it actually ever been, so much the actual cost of the addiction but the way my supplier treats me and my money in regards to my dependence. Even reading the last two sentences back knowing what I am attempting to convey, I am still kind of fuzzy so I am fairly confident that I am not being as clear as I would like. Bear with me then and accept that I have recently reached the point where I am finally so sick and tired of my dealer’’s cavalier attitude towards the amount of money I spend each month that this has forced me to started resenting my addiction and the unreal amount of money spent in my crazy attempt to maintain it that it has provoked me so hard to want to quit.

While I made the decision to commit to methadone a few weeks ago, events from last evening absolutely convinced me that not only had I made the correct decision but also ensured that nothing and I mean nothing will cause me to waver from this. When I look at the big picture this will and does sound ridiculously petty but to me it did nothing but illustrate the regard in which *** actually holds me. It has been tough around this city since about last Friday when 300 of his pills disappeared. There are not a lot of alternates if you want 8mg dilaudid. Yes both morphine and oxycontin are reasonably easy to get but from my point of view a very poor second and third. As it is it is not uncommon for *** to be out of dilaudid for four to five days of every month but to his credit he usually ensures that his hardcore regulars are not left without anything. Generally I don’’t experience too many problems hooking up with him but over the last two months there have been a towards While I made the decision to commit to methadone a few weeks ago, events from last evening absolutely convinced me that not only had I made the correct decision but also ensured that nothing and I mean nothing will cause me to waver from this. When I look at the big picture this will and does sound ridiculously petty but to me it did nothing but illustrate the regard in which *** actually holds me. It has been tough around this city since about last Friday when 300 of his pills disappeared. There are not a lot of alternates if you want 8mg dilaudid. Yes both morphine and oxycontin are reasonably easy to get but from my point of view a very poor second and third. As it is it is not uncommon for *** to be out of dilaudid for four to five days of every month but to his credit he usually ensures that his hardcore regulars are not left without anything. Generally I don’t experience too many problems hooking up with him but over the last two months there have been a couple of little things occurring while trying to hook up that have caused me to pause and question his actions. The amount of money I spend each month has forced me to start resenting my addiction and the unreal amount of money spent in my crazy attempt to maintain it has provoked me so hard to want to quit.

He is a dyed in the wool speed addict. There is absolutely nothing in the world that he likes better and sometimes he can tweak a little more than I care to witness I suppose and on a few occasions I would describe his behaviour as irrational at best. I am beginning to think that he may have more of a bill than he can manage with his dealers and if this is the case I am beginning to resent having to suffer for this bill. Anytime he gets something for the few that he continues to supply if he runs out, he never requests money in advance. Normally he would grab what he thinks he needed and we would pay him once we got over to his house. We never had to give cash in advance for him to go pick up and then for him to deliver later in the day. And if this is the kind of service that I have to endure then *** is oh so very replaceable. I went over yesterday and the only thing that he had were two 40mg oxycontins for $20. I grabbed them from him. He mentioned that he should be getting two more any second and should he grab them for me.

8:24pm OK I need to vent right now. Grrrrr....*** just hung up on me in the middle of our conversation. This after Jim had relayed a message to me at work to call ***. The man is an utter idiot and then some. We did him a favour on Saturday and for some reason he has this dillusional idea that we are somehow trying to screw him over. I am sure that most of you know a pretty decent amount of fellow users that have managed to screw themselves as far as having such luxuries as say legal bank accounts. I don’’t know too many in our circle that bother to even maintain a bank account. Now without one it can be difficult to cash cheques. Both Jim and I have two accounts that so far we have managed not to mess up and it utterly stupifies me the number of people that think nothing of asking us to put what we are more than aware is a completely bad cheque through one of them. This occured on Saturday and against our better judgement we agreed to try to cash a second party cheque thru our bank machine. By this I mean we attempted to deposit a cheque that was made out to someone else and "endorsed" by them and then endorsed by Jim. Very few institutions accept this kind of deposit normally and we explained this to him but he wanted us to continue. We also explained that there would be no guarantee of Jim being allowed to automatically withdraw funds from his account until this cheque cleared. Now if this cheque is bad then there is a very high chance that it is going to bounce also.

What galls me more than anything is ***’’s demand a few minutes ago to either give him his money or get the cheque back to him. OK now first of all technically it is not your money. The money actually belongs to the lady whose name appears on the cheque. Second it is also not your cheque. Again the cheque belongs to the name that appears after Pay To The Order. Now magnanimously offering us half of this cheque for doing this favour is also supremely flawed because the funds are actually coming directly out of our account so at this point technically it is already our money and if the cheque does get returned we are the ones that have to cover the amount that was returned. Like *** is going to step forward and replace these missing funds. Yeah of course he is. No we will be stuck holding the bag. The only time that I ever lose my grip on reality and actually contemplate doing something like this is when I am so low on funds that even entering into this type of soon to be very expensive venture is still better than the alternative of no funds. I always do this with the full knowledge that this little caper ultimately will cost us dearly. I am very good at convincing myself that actually all that this really is is nothing more than a very, very expensive cash advance. Now for doing this favour, Jim and I normally are allowed keep half of the value of the cheque. To this, I say oh you bloody morons how very generous you are with what is in fact our own money. Your ignorance is incredible and some days I can barely fathom how you are even able to function out in society. I don’’t understand their inability to recognize what is actually occurring. Jim and I are really giving them a loan that they will never actually have to pay back and this loan is fascillated with the help of our bank account. Our reward is the fact that we now have money that we previously did not have access to. Look on this as a really twisted cash advance or messed up overdraft I suppose. Automatically, I end up writing the other half of the cheque off as a loss cause attempting to explain what is actually happening always seems to be out of the individual’’s realm of comprehension and more bother than it is worth!

I just called Jim to ask him to do me a favour and please explain to this lunatic that there is no sense harassing and threatening me because I did not put it thru my account but thru Jim’’s. I think he is having a problem because I physically deposited the cheque after borrowing Jim’’s bank card. This was also the only time that I have ever done so much as a transaction with this account. Regardless of me telling him repeatedly that this is not my account nor is his precious cheque currently lanquishing in my bank account. I can do NOTHING concerning this matter. Talk to Jim you bloody moron.

8:58pm Wow I feel pretty amazing now that I have completed the above rant. Unfortunately this rant only served to end up diverting my attention away from today’’s entry and as I am done work for the evening I am now forced to abandon my entry midway through it. C’’est la vie! I guess TO BE CONTINUED AT A LATER DATE

Downward Spiral

Jim and I are halfway through a nice quiet holiday Monday without the children. Both of the girls left yesterday afternoon for Toronto as they have tickets to see Nine Inch Nails on Tuesday at the Molson Amphitheater. Lucky ducks. We saw NIN way back in 1994 when Marilyn Manson was the opening act, and then in 1997 saw Trent Rezsnor when he toured with David Bowie. Guess the torch has now been passed! They managed to arrive safe and sound last night which was obviously a huge relief to their very worried mother - I know3 that a repeat performance of that horrible incident out west last week would not be repeated, but still...They were traveling by Greyhound after all.

The girls had been counting the days until this show, both of them working as many hours as they could. Katie, unfortunately broke her arm about two weeks after Jim's attack, so she didn't get to work as much as she would have liked to have worked this summer. It's been a nice break for us though, not having to support them both 100% especially as our income has been drastically affected since Jim's attack - more on this later as this has been one of my pet peeves this summer.

Right now we are tucked inside our apt as it is pretty hot outside. We may go swimming later on this afternoon. I have managed to get Jim in the pool a few times so far this summer under the guise of it being good physio for his physical recovery! All in all, he seems to be coming along fairly nicely considering the massive amount of abuse his body was subjected to earlier this spring. He still has quite a way to go but the specialists are all pleased with the progress that he has been making so far.

Both of us have also been slowly tapering down our methadone dose without any negligible side affects. I am now at 60 while Jim is at 90. We've been decreasing approx 5 per month so nothing too drastic, just nice and moderate. I've definitely been suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to Jim's attack but am trying to deal with this without any help from medication. So far, so OK. Just going to see how I am as the summer comes to a close and will re-evaluated after Labour Day.

Take care, one and all. Enjoy today if you are a Canadian and have today off of work!!!